Gross Sales: What It Is, How To Calculate It, and Examples

What is gross sales

In contrast, net sales are the total revenue of a company after the deduction of returns, discounts, and allowances. Instead, they show the pure profit of a company over a given period of time. Gross sales measures a company’s total sales without adjusting for the expenses of generating those sales. The gross sales formula is calculated by totaling all sale invoices or related revenue transactions. However, gross sales do not include operating expenses, tax expenses, or other charges, which are all deducted to calculate net sales.

  1. If you’re trying to determine whether your business needs to change how it approaches its sales efforts or improve its product quality, you’ll likely need to consider both figures.
  2. While gross sales refer to the revenue generated by a company, gross sales volume is the number of products sold to generate this number.
  3. Gross sales are the total sales transactions within a specific period for a company.
  4. The price the company pays is an allowance and that partial refund is reflected in the company’s net sales.
  5. Finally, we’ll assume that there were no sales allowances during this period.

The retail outlet would pay $98,000, the owl company would get that money quickly, and that $2,000 discount would be taken out of gross sales when calculating net sales. Understanding the difference between gross sales and net sales is one thing, but tracking them amidst your chaotic business schedule is an entirely different issue. Also, they aren’t the only metrics you need to keep track of in your company. You can’t figure out your company’s net sales without tracking its gross sales first.

What are the differences between gross sales vs. net sales?

For our hypothetical scenario, we’ll assume that a 10% discount was offered to customers that paid early, which was the case in 5% of all completed customer transactions. By itself, the gross sales metric could be misleading, which is why net sales are viewed as a more useful indicator of a company’s financial performance. Product returns or discounts incentivize customers to make more purchases and are usually a normal part of a company’s day-to-day operations. In most contexts, gross sales and gross revenue are interchangeable since both represent the total sales before any deductions.

What is gross sales

Gross sales provide insight into a company’s performance, as they show the total number of transactions. However, this number does not accurately reflect a company’s profitability. Gross sales represent the entirety of a company’s revenues over a specific period of time without any deductions of business-running costs, like discounts, wages, rent, and more. Net sales reflect all customer price reductions, discounts on goods, and any refunds paid to customers after the sale. These three deductions have a natural debit balance, while the gross sales account has a natural credit balance. Net sales is the best, most accurate reflection of the efficacy of a company’s sales operations.

How B2B Sales Teams Can Restore Their Pipelines in 2020

Deductions are important in understanding how well a business is selling its product or service. If you don’t consider them, you might not account for different strategies your sales team is employing or different ways they could be more efficient. A sales return occurs when a buyer sends a product back to a seller for a partial or full refund. Seeing these numbers could, for example, flag an issue with a specific product that gets returned often. Gross Sales are defined as a company’s total revenue generated from all transactions that occurred over a specified period before any deductions, such as returns, discounts, and allowances.

For instance, you could’ve made a large number of sales, only to have customers return them later on. You’ll only know about this if you compare your gross and net sales together. If net sales are the only metric that gives an accurate picture of your company’s profit, why do you need to track gross sales?

There are four important reasons to track gross sales, and here’s a brief roundup of those. Despite the importance of calculating gross sales to get accurate net sales, this metric doesn’t reveal much about a company’s financial position. If we assume 4% of all transactions were returned, there were 8,000 returns, meaning that the downward adjustment to gross sales is $320k.

Gross sales can be important, especially for retail stores, but it is not the final word on a company’s revenue. It reflects a business’s total revenue during a specific period but does not account for all the expenses accrued. This is why gross sales are not typically listed on an income statement or listed as total revenue. The main difference between gross sales and net sales is the inclusion of returns, discounts, and allowances.


A company can make an impressive number of total sales, but it doesn’t reflect how well it handles costs and how much it gains in profit. So, the gross sales of TechXYZ for that quarter is $2,000,000 before considering business expenses, deductions, discounts, returns, and allowances. That refund would constitute a return, and that amount would be deducted from gross sales when calculating net sales.

Another benefit of calculating gross sales is understanding the average consumer spending habits. For instance, you might learn which products your customers are likely to buy during certain seasons. You also may learn what products they prefer and whether they’d be willing to buy more during discounts or not.

That’s why the latter gives a better insight into a company’s financial position. That said, you need both numbers to calculate your company’s profit accurately. First and foremost, you learn how much total revenue your company can generate in a limited period of time, which helps you track its overall performance and expect periods of slow sales. As a result, you’ll be able to put together a better quarterly or annual plan for your company and plan discounts properly. The difference between gross sales and net sales can also be a valuable indicator of the quality of a company’s product or service. If the discrepancy between the two figures is substantial or consistently growing, there may be issues or deficiencies with the product, making for considerable amounts of returns or allowances.

A return authorization number — or RA — allows sellers to track a return from its outset to its end. Gross sales are an indication of how well or how poorly your sales team is performing because they show the number of total sales they’ve made. If the numbers are unsatisfactory, you can revitalize them with some sales training topics and tactics.

Leave a Reply